19 de noviembre de 2019
English - News

Colombian goes from making cardboard hats to heading ice cream company

By Jeimmy Paola Sierra

Medellin, Colombia, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- Stumbling across a machine for making ice cream 18 years ago changed the life of Jhon Alexander Arango, a Colombian who intuitively identified a gap in the market and went from making cardboard hats to a promising entrepreneur.

"It was like divine guidance. The spotlight went on for me. I didn't look for it," Arango - the manager and founder of Fryscol, a company that makes products for ice cream parlors and currently has 150 customers - told EFE.

He was in the second semester of his university studies and while he was gluing together cardboard hats, which are used for parties, he thought he could probably do "something more" with his life.

With the money loaned him by a relative he bought a soft ice cream machine and started selling the cold and tasty product at the entrance of a supermarket in the city of Medellin.

"I didn't know anything. I hadn't tried it out and I tossed my hat into the ring," the businessman said, adding that fate presented him with a big opportunity when someone asked him about the machine's screws and he took advantage of that to question him about the type of ice cream he bought.

"It was a spark. I told him: I'll sell you the ice cream mix," said Arango about the moment marking the start of the business that today has six lines of products and 35 flavors, including passion fruit, piña colada, naranjilla and cappuccino, as just a few of the newest.

By "trial and error," he learned to make the ice cream formula, which he said at first he didn't like and had to keep adjusting to get the texture and flavor just right.

"I made mixtures at my house and it was all very homemade," he said, although now he exports his products to Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

Five years ago, Arango converted his apartment into the factory he used to grow the business amid difficulties and limited resources.

"I don't know how I didn't throw in the towel. I thought about returning to my hat work," he said.

The situation improved when he got better organized, transferred his business to a new location and polished things up from the packaging to the formula, but his lack of experience and managerial training resulted in Fryscol's growth stagnating.

He began taking part in a business program offered by the Corporacion Interactuar and that marked a turning point starting with "getting your house in order" to optimize your activities and improve communication, productivity and sales.

"Last year, we made a 180 degree turn. It was a rough shift. We're a team of six people and we've quadrupled our sales," said the 23-year-old.

Now, he uses blenders to mix the ice cream, producing more than 6,000 kilograms (13,200 pounds) of ice cream per month that are sold to small and medium ice cream shops in Colombia.

Arango said that part of his company's success is that it not only offers a finished product but also sells additional products and toppings, along with providing advice to customers on operating the machines and making the ice cream.

"We're going to be the first choice for soft ice cream in Colombia," he said.

He said that family support had been a determining factor in getting him started in the ice cream business, and he now gives advice to the parents of young entrepreneurs who, like him, are seeking to "make history" and change their situation, saying "No matter how crazy their projects are, support your kids."


Histórico de noticias
California sues Juul, largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes

San Francisco, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The state of California on Monday filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs Inc., the largest US manufacturer of e-cigarettes,...

US withdraws legal objection to Israeli settlements in West Bank

Washington, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The US government on Monday altered its stance on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank by rejecting a 1978 State...

Deforestation in Amazon rainforest reaches highest level in a decade

Sao Paulo, Nov 18 (EFE).- The Amazon rainforest in Brazil lost 9,762 sq. kilometers (3,769 sq. miles) of its area between August 2018 and July 2019, the...

Trump gives Huawei another 90 days to do business with US firms

San Francisco, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The US government announced on Monday a new 90-day extension to allow China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to continue...

Italian immigrant made his dream a reality in Uruguayan wine country

By Santiago Carbone

Lula accuses Bolsonaro of destroying Brazil, fomenting hatred

Recife, Brazil, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday harshly criticized the government of President Jair...

Max Verstappen wins Brazil Grand Prix

Sao Paulo, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen, with the Red Bull team, on Sunday won the Brazilian Grand Prix, the next-to-last...

Maduro: De facto dollarization is economy's escape valve

Caracas, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he does not disapprove of the de facto "dollarization" that one sector of his...

Apple removes vaping apps from App Store

San Francisco, Nov 15 (EFE).- Apple Inc announced Friday the removal of all apps related to electronic cigarettes from its mobile App Store amid concerns...

Hyundai to expand Alabama plant to turn out new pickup

Washington, Now 14 (efe-epa).- Hyundai will invest $410 million to expand its assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama, where it will turn out a new vehicle,...

Latin music figures join before Latin Grammys to fundraise for Parkinsons

Las Vegas, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Figures from the Ibero-American music industry like Luis Fonsi and Ximena Sariñana gathered on the eve of the Latin Grammy...

Google to lay 620 mi. of marine cable to Panama, to be operational in 1 year

Panama City, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Google announced on Thursday that it will lay a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) stretch of undersea fiber-optic cable to Panama,...

Goya comes to Havana along with Spanish monarchs

Havana, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- One of Francisco de Goya's iconic self-portraits is coming to Havana along with Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, who on...

New Disney+ platform hits 10 mn subscribers in one day

New York, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- The new streaming platform Disney+ managed to garner 10 million subscribers in the single day since its Nov. 12 launching in...

Spanish royals visit site where Havana was founded 500 years ag

By Carlos Perez Gil

Trump's greatest interest in Ukraine was to investigate Biden, says diplomat

(Updates: Adds info on Taylor and Kent's testimony, Trump's remarks on hearings and other material)

Trump: Trade pact with China close, but more tariffs if no deal

New York, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- The United States and China are "close" to the first phase of an agreement to resolve their trade war, President Donald Trump...

Trump: Many Dreamers are not angels, but criminals

by Laura Barros

Uncertainty reigns in Bolivia after Morales flees to Mexico

Bangkok Desk, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- The crisis in Bolivia following the resignation of President Evo Morales after almost 14 years in office have divided the...

Bolivia crisis: Coup d'etat or power vacuum?

By Laura Núñez Marín

1,000 women breastfeed their children in Rio to defend the practice

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- About 1,000 women on Monday breastfed their children simultaneously during an event held in Rio de Janeiro to raise...

Trump pays tribute to veterans at 100th anniversary of NY parade

New York, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Monday paid tribute to all US veterans - currently numbering some 18 million - in an emotional...

Colombian artist sculpts monument long-distance, then 3D prints it

Bogota, Nov 10 (efe-epa).- Colombian artist Joaquin Restrepo is the sculptor of a monumental statue that was sculpted long-distance and then 3D printed.

Saving the Amazon, or at least trying: A tough job for taricaya turtles

By Alvaro Mellizo